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Good News - February 2020

Yeah, But…

It’s one of those phrases we have been hearing far too often in our home these past few weeks. Maybe it’s a rite of passage, or maybe now that Andrew has broken the 9-year-old barrier, his chronological age is catching up with his superhero brainpower. On the blessing side, it does remind us that our kids are thinking deeply.

Thinking broadly, I don’t expect anybody to hear (or read) what I say and receive it without passing it through their own “thinking deeply” filter. Hence my Sunday comment about being willing to play devil’s advocate with myself. As we talked about family this past week, I know a few “yeah but’s” can come up. In fact, I had to admit to somebody over coffee and popcorn that I couldn’t possibly cover the library-full of issues that can make family complex.

I say this because Christians often refer to God as Father. Paul gives us permission to say this when he tells the Galatians and the Romans that through Jesus we are adopted as children of God (Galatians 4 and Romans 8). For some, however, the term ‘father’ does not score God any bonus points.

God forbid that is the situation for you or somebody you love. Know that there is a place where I get it. Maybe not your exact situation, but for many years I would not have connected “father” with any kind of personal relationship, love or care. Fortunately, that is only part one of the story.

The good news is that all human beings, fathers certainly included – have a sin default. Left to our own devices, we’d all quickly become somebody we didn’t want to see in the mirror. How could I possibly say that this is good news? How can “we all sin” possibly redeem the idea of “father”?

Because God does not sin.

Let me force you to re-read that.


Because God does not sin.


          Fathers can mess up big time (guilty!). But God doesn’t play by the same limitations as us humans. God can love perfectly. He sent His own son to prove that.

          It can take a lot of effort to read God’s story with objective eyes. But as best you can, hear God’s love story to you without mixing in your experiences with other humans who need that perfect love as much as the rest of us.

          Know this as well – God’s perfect love can redeem any broken person. That “part one” I mentioned above covered the first 18 years of my life. The last 10 months of my father’s life were filled with a man who showed up in ways big and small. And I wouldn’t have traded them for anything.

          God works miracles.


          Many Blessings,

Pastor Brian

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Carols We begin the season of anticipation – waiting for Jesus’ birth at Christmas.  In that time, we often hear Christmas carols throughout the day,  whether on the radio, in the store, or at church. These songs, when we think about them, can offer us something real to get thru the stress that often comes with the Christmas season.

Family-ish As the holiday season gets closer, many of us think of family. Maybe we look forward to a big get-together, maybe we dread the idea. God’s Word has some powerful ideas that can help us not only survive getting together with family, but making it a time of joy.

The Race Is On The church didn't begin until after Jesus left His disciples. That was a scary prospect for them. How would they do it? Would God help them out? Beginning with Pentecost Sunday - the day the disciples got their "Christian superpowers", we explore how we can do those things that seem too far beyond us.

Didn't See It Coming Based on Carey Nieuwhof's book of the same title, this series wants to help you avoid and overcome life's seven hardest and most crippling challenges: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and emptiness. These are challenges that few of us expect but that we all experience at some point. If you have yet to confront these obstacles, this series provides clear tools and guidelines for anticipation and avoidance. On the other hand, if you already feel stuck in a painful experience or are wrestling with one of these challenges, it provides the steps you need to find a way out and a way forward into a more powerful and vibrant future.

Intersections It would be nice to have one-on-one time with Jesus while He was ministering on earth. This Lent season, we will check out some of those times in the Gospels when Jesus gave people that occasion.


RCA - our denominational site
GotQuestions - great apologetics site

Bible Gateway - online Bibles
Blue Letter Bible - online Bibles + commentaries
Bible Hub - online Bibles + commentaries

OnePlace - audio sermons

Logos - Pastor Brian's choice of Bible software
e-sword - free Bible software



Good News Archive
Good News - February 2020
Good News - January 2020
Good News - December 2019
Good News - November 2019
Good News - October 2019
Good News - September 2019
Good News - August 2019
Good News - July 2019
Good News - June 2019
Good News - May 2019
Good News - April 2019

5694 Woodlane Newark NY 14513              Phone: (315) 331-4903              E-mail: office@woodlanechurch.org